Fire Chief at Oversight Hearing Wednesday

D.C. Fire and EMS Head Keith Ellerbe facing scrutiny after new report

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    NEWSLETTERS

    D.C. Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe denies sex harassment accusations from previous job. News4's Darcy Spencer reports. (Published Wednesday, Mar 7, 2012)

    D.C. Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe will appear at a District hearing Wednesday to discuss his agency's performance.

    The meeting, held in the Wilson Building, is a routine oversight review of Fire and EMS service.

    However, it comes one day after the Washington Times released a story alleging an abbreviated review process for Ellerbe when he was made chief in 2011.

    The Times writes:

    Mayor Vincent C. Gray hired and the D.C. Council confirmed Kenneth Ellerbe to head the District’s fire department without ever requesting a copy of his personnel file from the chief’s former employer in Sarasota County, Fla. — a file that contained a complaint of sexual harassment.

    The Times story says no one from Vince Gray's staff or the City Council committee charged with vetting agency nominees requested a copy of Ellerbe's personnel file from Sarasota County, where he headed the fire department for 16 months prior to becoming chief in D.C.

    The Times said paperwork made public via a Freedom of Information document a complaint against Ellerbe in which a female employee accused him of leering at her.